The built-in blog is an often overlooked feature on Shopify. Poor blogs. But we understand. Either the reasons for blogging are unclear or the task of creating fresh content seems too daunting.
We hope to dispel both of these barriers by demonstrating the value of blogging and outlining how you can effectively set up and maintain a lively blog with relative ease.
What Blogging has to do with Selling
Think of it like this: a blog is like the display window of a brick and mortar shop. A blog arranges the elements of your business to make them come alive for your visitor, enticing them to “come in.” An active and well-curated blog provides a palpable pulse of who you are and what you do. And it places your products in a deeper context of significance for your customer, allowing them to shimmer.
A tried-and-true tool, blogs are useful for timely updates, content marketing, creating discussion, and connecting with others. And Shopify blogs are a powerful, built-in feature for every shop owner. Coming up with a blogging strategy for your business can help you foster a relationship with customers and help make you an authority in your industry.
Organic Search Traffic
What makes blogging so powerful? It can generate organic traffic to your site — that’s free. Google and other search tools will pick up on keywords from your blog posts, creating another entryway for visitors to discover your store.
You can manually edit the SEO content of your individual blog posts. If you navigate to a post you’ve written in your Admin and scroll down, you’ll find a section called Search engine listing preview. This section lists the auto-generated content that search engine hook onto when creating search results.
If you click Edit website SEO, you’ll find three fields that you can edit: Page title, Meta description and URL and handle.
Creating a Content Calendar
The most important part of blogging is being consistent. That means setting a cadence to how much you post and trying to stick to it. It could be once a month, once every other week, or every week.
Brainstorming Post Topics
Give yourself 20 minutes to brainstorm any and all topics that you would like to write about: don’t censor yourself and get it all out there! Make a list about anything you think your customers would like to hear about: promos, sales, new awesome products, charities you support, any other info.
No idea is too small. In fact, posts that take longer than a few minutes to read are probably too long.
On a calendar write in the topics you think are the best. We suggest adding deadlines for a final draft, a review (always good to have a second pair of eyes!), and a publish date. The idea is if you know what you’re writing about already it makes it a lot easier to write and take action.
Shopify will let you schedule posts so that you don’t need to worry about a thing. You can schedule your blog post to display on a certain date or at a certain time by clicking the “publish on a certain Date” which is found in the Visibility section of your blog post.
Setting the Tone
A blog post is the best place to show personality and transparency.
Knowing who your customers are is essential to getting the right tone and perspective for your blog. Are your customers first-time buyers, connoisseurs, experts?
For example, if your shop sells running shoes, blog posts written from the perspective of a marathon runner are an excellent fit, but posts from someone new to the running world also add value. Both authors provide authority to customers – those who want a high performance product and beginners in need of a little encouragement.
4 Blog Content Ideas
Here are four possible ideas for what you could write about to get you started.
Tell a story about a single product
Every one of your products has a story to tell. Take that pair of earrings as an example. Talk about their features within a personal narrative. “How to pack for a road trip” could be a story that’s mostly just about a road trip – but briefly features that pair of earrings in a meaningful way.
Positive customer feedback adds serious value to any shop. There’s many ways to customer stories, but doing it in a way that doesn’t feel fake is really important. Lots of shops include testimonials, but an entire blog post written by a customer demonstrates loyalty. It signals to other customers that this is a shop worth taking the time to write about.
Another way to include customer stories is through social media. Whether that’s retweeting customers’ jokes or promoting their best Instagram photos – it’s a great way to build community.
Creative Uses of Product
Shopify is great because you can sell a niche product, like artisanal salt. The downside? Your potential customers have never considered the possibilities of artisanal salt. The blog can help them out.
Write about salting the rim on margaritas, provide a recipe for salted caramel brownies or create a photo tutorial on brining a turkey. Put ideas into your customer’s head. (Just remember to link back to your product page!)
Could your blog post tell a story with images alone? That’s one reason Buzzfeed has found such success: it specializes in image-heavy content that’s easy to digest. The next time you’re writing and can’t find the right thing to say, consider using images instead.